Audiobooks are all the craze these days. The pandemic brought into focus eBooks and audiobooks which came across as a no-contact means of accessing new reading material. However, while the eBook craze seems to have somewhat frittered away, demand for audiobooks continues to be steady and strong.
With the pandemic easing a bit and bookstores across the world getting back to business, shoppers are able to browse the books and buy those as before. Major publishers like Simon & Schuster and Harpercollins announced growth in revenue for the latest quarter. All of this came at the expense of eBooks sales which seems to have lost much of its steam in 2021.
In contrast, audiobooks have been witnessing double digit growth for the past several years and do not seem to ease off in the foreseeable future as well. In fact, market research analysts predict ‘the global audiobook market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.4 percent from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 14.99 billion by 2027.’ Companies too are consolidating their businesses to be able to achieve maximum traction in the market. The recent acquisition of Audiobook.com by Storytel or Spotify acquiring Findaway, the largest audiobook wholesaler is ample proof of this.
All of this makes for an interesting development. Readers seem to be preferring physical books and audiobooks but not eBooks, at least not to the extent that proponents of eBooks might have initially predicted. Rather, what’s good to see is that all three formats are co-existing, and none is causing the other to go extinct. However, that printed books are still in demand has surprised many considering that many of the factors that have caused audiobooks to thrive can be experienced via modern eReader devices as well.
Maybe it’s that feeling of touching real paper, the smell of it, or the deep romanticism associated with real books that continues to keep it in demand. eBooks read via eReader devices offer a lot of conveniences, including text to speech or read aloud feature though none of that comes close to real voice actors narrating a story in an audiobook. Maybe it is this human touch that makes audiobooks click compared to the text-to-speech feature that is a lot more mechanical in comparison.
What remains to be seen though is whether audiobooks will go on to surpass e-books in popularity someday.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.